Historical informatics - rubric Databases and search systems
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Databases and search systems
Bryukhanova E.A. - 1897 Census Interarchive Database: the Structure and Formation Features pp. 1-10


Abstract: The article characterizes the goals and the structure of a database which aims at accumulating data of the First  General 1897 Population Census of the Russian Empire preserved by Russian and foreign archives. The database has two basic data input and data retention modules “Archive” and “Finding Aid”. The first module realizes the idea about the hierarchical level structure preservation characteristic of archival storage system (archive – fund – series – file – document). The second module reflects the search history that is data on archival reference books, information about electronic copies of archival reference books and documents as well as their access conditions. The interarchive database is a result of archive, document and source analysis both of archival fund documents and their finding aid. The author considers the idea to create such a system based on the First General Population Census of the Russian Empire new for Russian historical studies. A user is provided with an opportunity to carry out a search (online as well) by archives, funds, files, document types as well as administrative units with account of both to historical and present day names. 
Saltseva A.D. - Analysis of the Database Formed on the Basis of Materials Collected by the Political Prisoners Aid Society Moscow Political Red Cross (1918-1922): Dynamics of Arrests and Their Causes pp. 5-23


Abstract: The article analyses prosopographic database of political prisoners in the years of the Red Terror (1918–1922). The author addresses the problems of relational database creation on the basis of the Political Prisoners Aid Society “Moscow Political Red Cross” (MPRC). The source base of the database is census papers of political prisoners collected by the MPRC legal department stored in the Russian Federation State Archive, Fund -8419. Most of them are introduced into scientific turnover for the first time. Statistical analysis of the database as well as source study analysis of census papers has been carried out. The results of analysis of arrest dynamics and the reasons for arrests are discussed as well. It is demonstrated that arrest dynamics was logical as it reflected social and political process in the years understudy (military communism regime, suppression of peasants’ revolt and attempt to centralize and arrange punitive bodies’ activity). The analysis of arrest reasons showed that most of 1918–1922 political prisoners were charged with counterrevolution, participation in the White Movement, espionage and anti-Soviet agitation.
Dmitrieva A. - Photo Documents in Research: Development of Photo Documents Database Architecture on the Basis of Researchers Query pp. 9-18


Abstract: The article studies the use of photo documents in various research practices as well as issues of involving more of these resources into research by optimizing the resource base planning. Photo documents are sources which can be used in many different research fields. They are sure to be in demand as far as multidisciplinary “visual” studies evolve.   The current methodology of representing information about photo collections in state archives does not allow one to improve the quality of research material selection.  The article aims at developing a photo documents database architecture satisfying different researchers. The research methodology includes the content analysis of published scientific materials that addressed the main research lines and goals determining researchers’ use of photo documents. The research novelty is the approach described.  As a result, photo document attributes were designed. They include not only the year of creation, the author, the place and the thematic description, but information about the document originality, its belonging to a collection, related documents, the customer of a photo document, the function and the context of photo document creation, the type and the nature of a photo. Each group of thematic attributes can be further decomposed to form the tree database structure.  The article demonstrates the decomposition of the attribute “photo nature - environment - urban environment” through several grounds proposed in current urban environment studies.  
Dyachkov V.L. - Databases on the history of local population migrations in Russia at the end of the XIX XX centuries: Information capabilities and processing methods (Part II, databases of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation) pp. 10-36



Abstract: The article presents methodological experience of working with sources of military departments, which provide a lot of information about the migration movements of specific people. The Ministry of Defense has created great opportunities for historians by compiling and sharing electronic managed databases on tens of millions of dead and decorated Soviet citizens. On the basis of these materials of the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense (CAMO), arranged according to dozens of parameters of related personal information, as well as according to regional, district and city military enlistment offices, regional authorities prepared and published in printed and electronic form relevant Books in memory of fellow countrymen who died on the fronts of World War II and returned home alive. Comparing the place of birth and the year of birth of the person involved in the mentioned databases with the place and time of his conscription into the Red Army with a high representativeness of personalities gives a very accurate idea of the volume and direction of emigration from their native places. Electronic databases and other mass sources originating from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation are the most important and mandatory basis for studying Russian migrations on long continuous lines of complex sociographic information. Their principal methodological advantage is the possibility of creating holistic pictures of formative social processes and phenomena at the levels from individual human destinies to aggregations of country scales.
Kattsina T.A., Shestakov V.N., Pomazan V.A. - Descriptive statistics and visualization of historical data on charitable institutions in Eastern Siberia in the 19th century. pp. 10-29



Abstract: The article presents the potential of information technologies and descriptive statistics in solving research problems aimed at revealing the possibility of assessing the effectiveness of accumulated historical experience in such an important area as social work. The purpose of the work is to create tools for a descriptive analysis of historical data on charity institutions in Eastern Siberia XIX century. The methods of research are: data previously collected from diverse archival sources; descriptive statistics in the form of contingency tables and diagrams. The article presents visualized generalized data that allows one to evaluate and interpret the volume, structure and dynamics of charitable assistance in XIX century Eastern Siberia. The subject of the research is institutions of public charity in Eastern Siberia in the 19th century. The novelty and value of the research lies in the original structure of the database, the purpose of which is to systematize and summarize the main characteristics (organizational, financial, socio-demographic) of charitable institutions in their dynamic development and based on a wide range of written sources: office documentation; reference and statistical materials; annals. The specifics of the source base and the goals of the study determined the use of an interdisciplinary approach, which was built primarily on the basis of a synthesis of historical, sociological and information knowledge. Using methods, descriptive statistics and visualization of historical data, the capabilities of the database for systematization, analysis, synthesis and grouping of information are characterized. The study contributes to the elimination of territorial and problematic imbalances in the study of the network of charitable institutions in the Russian Empire, ensures effective systematization of primary information into a database, which is an information product of multi-purpose use, the structure of which is not related to the structure of source documents, and its value as an integral source lies in the subordination content of a specific research problem.
Dmitrieva N.V. - Digital Technologies and Information Resources to Study Wars and Military Conflicts in the Russian South: Experience and Prospects pp. 11-21


Abstract: The article considers the use of digital technologies to study wars and military conflicts in the south of Russia in the 18th – 21st centuries. It analyzes the prerequisites for changing the theoretical and methodological foundations of scientific research addressing the problems indicated. Particular attention is paid to the description of the conceptual approach and the structure of the source database on the history of military clashes in the south of the country. The article provides a list of archives and funds that formed the basis of the database and also contains the description of the possibilities and prospects for its further use for research purposes to select, systematize and group sources. The analysis of information resources, in particular the existing data on memorial culture objects mapping,  made it possible to emphasize the topical necessity to map monuments dedicated to military conflicts in southern Russia. The mapping has been carried out on the basis of the database of Rostov-on-Don and Rostov region’s monuments. Its constituent elements were the information about the restoration work, the source of funding for the monument installation, its physical condition and demand. The introduction of expert interviews as a separate type of sources into the database made it possible to identify the prospects of their content analysis by means of MAXQDA software package.
Bondar V.A. - Information potential of the database on the 1959 All-Union Population Census as a source for historical and demographic studies of the urban environment pp. 11-26



Abstract: The purpose of this database is to create an electronic source that focuses on the socio-demographic characteristics of the Ural City based on materials from the All-Soviet Population Census of 1959, using the example of Arti, a town-type settlement in the Sverdlovsk Region. The selection of this particular object is due to its ability to record the transformation processes from a rural factory settlement to a town, against the backdrop of a relatively homogenous ethnosocial environment. The appeal to the original census materials is justified by their higher information content, as compared to published data that has undergone editing. The discovered Artinsky district archive file contains information on the town of Arti alone and represents a sample with an unclear formation process, similar in nature to a natural process. The study of methods for organizing and conducting a census indicates a relatively high level of reliability in its primary data. Historical and genetic methods, methods of source analysis, and mathematical statistics are used. A study of the distribution of data by gender and social groups, conducted using mathematical statistical methods in comparison to published data, allows us to conclude that the sample of materials formed from the census of Arti's urban-type settlement accurately reflects the properties of the entire population covered by the survey. The database created based on the materials of the 1959 All-Union Population Census is similar in content to the original source, with the addition of aggregated information about the composition and structure of families, as well as information about housing conditions. The features of both the source and database are focused, to a greater extent, on historical and demographic research, particularly family history. Due to its informative nature, the database can become a useful tool for researchers in this field.
Leontyeva N. - Soviet Citizens Prisoners of the USSR's NKVD/MVD Special Camps in Germany: Database Analysis pp. 12-30


Abstract: The article characterizes Soviet prisoners of NKVD/MVD special camps located in East Germany in 1945-1950. On the basis of a relational database created the author analyzes gender, age and nationality of Soviet citizens (special camp prisoners) as well as their distribution according to articles of conviction, sentences and places in the camps on the USSR's territory. The sources are documents of the fund of the special camp department stored in the State Archive of the Russian Federation. First of all, these are the so called echelon lists of convicted prisoners. The main methods of the study are database methods and technologies. They are used to structure the archival information about Soviet special camps prisoners and characterize them. Until now the studies about the history of special camps have somewhat ignored Soviet prisoners who made up a big part of the total number of prisoners since the extensive German historiography mainly have addressed Stalinist repressions against the Germans living in the Soviet zone of Germany occupation. The article concludes that with regard to Soviet prisoners special camps were a place of temporary detention and preservation of labor balance demanded by Gulag economy.
Porshneva O.S., Razinkov S.L. - Database "Women diplomats in newly Independent States in the Former USSR (1991-2022)": structure and analysis possibilities pp. 16-27



Abstract: The article is devoted to the possibilities of a prosopographic database for studying the problems of gender representation of women in senior diplomatic positions. The authors characterize the structure of the database "Women diplomats in newly independent States in the former USSR (1991-2022)" and analyze the information contained therein. The analysis of the database data is aimed at identifying a number of significant characteristics of the social portrait of women diplomats of post-Soviet states (quantitative indicators in relation to various time periods and states, the ratio between career and non-professional diplomats, the distribution of ambassadors by host countries, the average age of appointment to the post of ambassador and other temporary indicators of professional career, the availability of professional education and the degree of proficiency in foreign languages). The problem-oriented approach to database design provided a flexible presentation of relevant information from sources diverse in structure and content and an effective analysis of the main characteristics of the social portrait of female diplomats (on the one hand, as a gender-homogeneous professional group, and on the other hand, as a nationally heterogeneous aggregate). Conclusions are formulated about the features of the social portrait of women diplomats of post-Soviet states based on the dynamics of the number, professional education, indicators of labor activity in senior diplomatic positions. The article identifies three groups of States with different models of gender representation in the diplomatic service.
Trishin I. - The use of data management technologies in the creation of historical Internet resources pp. 18-27



Abstract: In this article, special attention is paid to the problem of preserving and distributing the results of virtual reconstructions of historical and cultural heritage objects by creating specialized electronic reference books based on the Wordpress website builder. Using the example of the handbook on virtual reconstructions of estates in the Moscow region, the author shows how, with the help of modern data management technologies, it is possible to configure the system in such a way that its filling and administration take place with the least amount of time on the part of the authors of publications and the directory administrator. The main problem solved by such a system is the elimination of the need for manual entry of each article and subsequent approval of the publication in manual mode. The author of the study presents an approbation of the use of data management technologies in historical Internet resources. The systems presented in the article are used in industrial data management systems, but their availability allows them to be used in other fields of activity, including as an auxiliary tool in scientific research. Automatic transfer of data from the user's web form to a new directory page significantly speeds up the task of filling an Internet resource. The proposed version of the directory was created using the MySQL database, the Apache NiFi data orchestrator and the Wordpress website builder. All the listed tools are free and available for download on their official pages.
Bryukhanova E.A., Nezhentseva N.V., Chekryzhova O.I., Ivanov D.N. - A Database Built on the First 1897 Russian Empire Population Census Data: Structure and Analysis pp. 20-33


Abstract: The article presents the potential use of primary materials of the First General Census of the Russian Empire taken in 1897 for historical studies. Emphasis is laid on the composition and the structure of 1897 census materials, the database architecture as well as the technique to study nominative sources and compare aggregated and personal data. In the first part of the article the authors provide an overview of publications that contain information on the safety of 1897 census papers in Siberia. The second part of the article describes the creation and the structure of the database covering the primary materials of the First General Census of the Russian Empire taken in 1897. The third part of the article presents the main approaches to the analysis of the census data. When developing the database, the authors sought to cover the information of all census paper forms at most and preserve internal ties between them (counting sheets – “oblozhki” - census papers). Particular attention is paid to the development of an intuitive interface for all forms of data entry corresponding to census paper forms. The database mainly covers the census information for 8 cities of Tobolskaya Guberniya. The research novelty is the application of a new technique to identify personal data and analyze the census material structure which can be traced in the architecture of the 1897 census database.
Baranova E., Maslov V., Lopatin M. - Database Echelon Lists of Kaliningradskaya Oblast Immigrants (1946-1947): Architecture, Sources, Data Introduction and the First Results pp. 22-36


Abstract: This article considers some aspects related to a database covering migrants from the Russian Federation and the Belorussian Republic to Kaliningradskaya Oblast. The topicality of the study is the poor knowledge bulk related to statistics of such a large-scale migration process initiated by the Soviet Union in the middle of the 20th century which played an important role in the new region formation. It is the first time when an information resource is created that contains data from a large complex of nominative records made along the way with the mass resettlement of new residents of the region by means of train echelons. Besides the description of the source, the most typical types of its documents (echelon lists, acts on arrival and consolidated lists) are considered in detail. The authors discuss the principles to build the database and substantiate the choice in favor of the source-oriented approach. The describe the conceptual structure of the database with reference to some specific features of its logical model and the organization of the graphical user interface. The article describes how a large group of students added limited access data to the database. A preliminary analysis of the database information shows that in 1946 about 2/5 of the arriving people were unable to work (primarily due to their age). The same share, however among the heads of families, was characteristic of single people without a spouse. The absolute majority of household heads were men.
Dyachkov V.L. - Databases on the history of local population migrations in Russia at the end of the XIX XX centuries: information capabilities and processing methods. Part I. pp. 28-49



Abstract: In the first part of the proposed article, the information capabilities and methods of processing in electronic databases (EBD) of the first two groups of sources on local population migrations in Russia at the end of the XIX XX centuries are analyzed and illustrated: 1) pre-revolutionary parish registers, Soviet statistics of registry offices for individual rural and urban settlements, materials of All-Russian censuses population and other census documents containing information about the movement of the population at the micro level of individual settlements; 2) replenished "author's" EBDS of student genealogies (48 information parameters; about 150 thousand personalities as of April 2022) and surveys of women who have completed prolific activities (40 information parameters; 11.5 thousand respondents as of April 2022) The scientific novelty of the proposed study of the information capabilities of the first two blocks of representative sources on local migrations of the Russian population of the history of the period under consideration is provided, first of all, by strict adherence to the principle of historicism, obliging to take what is being studied in motion, in the totality of all its aspects and as it was in the real past. The principle of historicism dictates, in turn, the methodology for creating EBDS of traditional and unique mass sources on social history. Records in metric books, materials of registry offices, population censuses, surveys of elderly women and student genealogies with a truly historical method of obtaining and processing data turn out to be necessary, mandatory and often irreplaceable sources of knowledge and tools for uncovering the mobile socio-natural synergy of domestic new and modern history on the longest and continuous rows of complex demographic and sociographic information. Local migrations are the most important, but part of this synergy.
Karpov S.P., Ilyashenko V.A. - Relation Database Covering Black Sea Region Prosopographical Studies of Italian Black Sea Trading Posts (13th - 15th cc.) pp. 38-48


Abstract: The article discusses the process of database creation that covers notarial documents telling us about the history of an Italian trading post Tana (Azov). The material for the database has been collected over several years as part of a research addressing a set of documents about the history of medieval Italy. In the course of the research a considerable body of material has been collected. Its analysis was a hard task since data were arranged in a peculiar way. To achieve the goal a relational database consisting of sixteen tables which in turn contained several dozen fields has been created on the basis of DBMS Access. The article also describes the main goals and difficulties the database creation is accompanied by as well as those emerging when analysis by means of inquires is made. These are identification of names mentioned in the sources as well as identification and removal of multiple references to the same personalities. This database covers multilateral information about commercial transactions made in Tana in the 13th-15th centuries including places, dates and details of these transactions, detailed information about people involved as well as links to sources of this information.
Goretskaia E.M. - Social Profile of Gulag Prisoners - Authors of Memoirs pp. 49-68


Abstract: Political repressions affected representatives of all social strata and groups. This period left a bulk of documents, including memoirs, where the most intimate and difficult thoughts and recollections of their authors are reflected. One of valuable sets of memoirs of political repressions history is collected by the Sakharov Center website. The electronic resource "Memories of the Gulag and their authors" is valuable not only because it exhibits memoirs of more than one and a half thousand people who suffered from repressions but also because of the biographical information about the authors of these memoirs compiled on the basis of information from the memoirs. Biographical data on the victims of the Gulag system became the main source of this study. They allow us to describe and analyze the social portrait of Gulag victims who left memories. Biographical data became a source for creating the database "Gulag prisoners-authors of memoirs". The social portrait of the repressed and its characteristic features were described, as well as a comparison of the social portrait of male and female prisoners was made. Males and females were analyzed separately to pursue the goal set. The analysis suggests that there is a certain similarity of biographical characteristics among the authors of the memoirs which is probably due to the fact that the educated, intelligent segments of the population were one of the objects of a purposeful repressive policy followed in the Soviet state. .
Strekalova N.V. - Databases on the problems of studying social stratification and mobility of urban elites and the middle strata of Tambov in the late 19th - early 20th centuries: sources, structure, technology of complex analysis pp. 50-66


Abstract: The article presents the structure of source-oriented electronic databases created on the basis of personified mass sources that contain information about the population of Tambov in 1896-1917. The features and possibilities of using mass primary sources for the study of social stratification and mobility of the propertied strata of the population of the provincial center in the late 19th - early 20th centuries are analyzed. Methods of complex processing of electronic databases on social stratification and mobility of the population of a Russian provincial city in the late 19th - early 20th centuries are characterized. The scientific novelty of the study consists of the use of information technologies to implement the method of social identification of the elite and middle layers of the provincial Russian city in the late 19th - early 20th centuries, the basis of which is the approaches and methods of theories of multidimensional stratification and social mobility. The information potential of the bases made it possible to conduct social ranking, analyze the social mobility of the elite and the middle strata of the provincial center in the late 19th - early 20th centuries. The presented methods and technologies for the creation and complex processing of source-oriented databases on the problems of social stratification and mobility of the elite and middle strata of Tambov in the late 19th - early 20th centuries can be used to study social processes in relation to other settlements, chronological periods, class-social and professional groups of the population.
Razinkov S., Zakharovskii L.V. - Information Value of the Database Vocational Education in Sverdlovskaya Oblast (1920s-1950s) pp. 51-70


Abstract: The article describes the conceptual model and the structure of the database on the history of vocational education in Sverdlovskaya Oblast in the 1920s-1950s. The database systematizes and generalizes the main indicators of the development dynamics of vocational education in the region on the basis of a wide range of mass sources. These indicators are organizational, industrial, economical, socio-demographic and behavioral ones. Particular attention is paid to describe the database in terms of its ability to systematize, analyze and group information on the history of work training in the region that is the number of students, the employment of graduates, the dynamics of the educational institutions network, etc. The research novelty is the original structure of the database as an information product for multipurpose use which, first of all, provides for the effective systematization of primary information from various types of mass sources and the creation of a model of historical data on the vocational training system in Sverdlovskaya Oblast. The authors attempt to generalize their practice to digitize, systematize, analyze and synthesize archival vocational education data and formulate the principles to create and use the local historical database within the digital humanities context: complexity, task-orientation, integration, etc.
Bakanov S.A., Khamitova K.A. - Urban History in academic dissertation researches in Russia (1991-2021) pp. 52-62


Abstract: The database "Dissertations on Urban History" was created in order to study the trends in the development of Russian historiography in the field of historical urban studies in 1991-2021. The source of information for the database is the electronic catalog of academic researches (dissertations) of the Russian State Library, posted on the official website of the organization www.rsl.ru. More than 25 thousand dissertation researches were made during this period. 523 dissertations were selected by expert means, whose topics corresponded to the field of urban history. For further work, an electronic database was created, including 6 bibliographic and 7 analytical attributes. To analyze the database, an approach was applied based on calculating the frequency of occurrence of individual keywords characterizing each of the following attributes: author, title of the work, year, code of scientific specialty, academic degree, chronological period, territorial scope, scale of research optics, thematic direction. According to the results of the work carried out, it was possible to establish that despite some conjunctural similarities with the Western tradition, Russian authors are distinguished by increased attention to the historical period of the second half of the XIX - early XX centuries, academic research focus on the problems of social history.
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